The story of our final Community Hero of 2016-17, Ben CoeNORWICH City will be delighted to welcome Ben Coe as the KarePlus Community Hero for Sunday's final game of the season against Queens Park Rangers.
Ten-year-old Ben has Cerebral Palsy (CP) and is an enthusiastic participant in a number of the Community Sports Foundation’s (CSF) disability programmes.
The Canary fan has previously had an operation to extend his Achilles tendon and in April this year, he undertook a further operation to improve his leg mobility.
Ben's Grandad Adrian Coe reflected: "Ben was born 11 weeks premature and spent many weeks in intensive care following his birth.
"When he was allowed home, only a few weeks passed before he was admitted back to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital with a variant of septicaemia.
"In the last ten years Ben has had many trips to hospitals around the country for further treatment and care. Currently, he undertakes weekly physiotherapy checks locally to keep track of his progress."
Ben is involved with a number of CSF’s disability programmes including CP Soccer Centres, Disability Multi-sports and Disability Match Day Clubs.
The youngster has also taken part in key CSF events including the Summer Cup and pre-match activities at the Foundation’s celebrity football fundraiser, Jamie’s Game, which returns for its fifth year later this month at Carrow Road.
"He has a love, desire and knowledge for football. His involvement with CSF has helped him greatly, attending in the evenings twice a week and the odd school holiday. The sessions give him the chance to play amongst equals.
"Ben's desire to play football takes precedence over everything. It is pleasing to note that his academic work at school is not affected by his disability and he excels in most subjects."
CSF Disability Development Officer Darren Hunter has coached Ben since he started attending the programmes in 2015. He said: "Ben has shown some outstanding ability when it comes to his football.
"He is an excellent goalkeeper who we regard as a big talent for the future. The natural pathway for him will be the Disability Player Development Centre and the FA Talent Identification Programme."
Please give a big Norwich City welcome to Ben as he brings out the match ball ahead of kick-off on Sunday.